Buddha in the Woods

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A PERSONAL WAY TO A SYLVAN BUDDHISM

Starting from the concept-seed of Homo Radix, a deep and an intimate research of a migrant and natural identity, Tiziano Fratus gave born to the discipline of Dendrosophy and to an everyday practice of meditation in Nature, ispired by zen practices, in specific by figures soo telluric as ch’an chinese masters (Bodhidharma, Huineng, Shihwu, Baizhang, Huang Po, Lin Ji, Puhua, Hongzhi Zhengju, Rujing, Wumen Huikai), zen japanese masters (Eihei Dogen, Shinchi Kakushin, Daito Kokushi, Bassui Tokusho, Yotaku Bankei, Hakuin Ekaku, Hara Tanzan, Kodo Sawaki, Zenkei Shibayama, Shunryu Suzuki, Soko Morinaga) and contemporary philosophers (D.T. Suzuki, H.S. Hisamatsu, Masao Abe, Alan Watts, Jacques Brosse).

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Tiziano Fratus, a Rootman and a Zen practicer, in the forests of Gran Paradiso National Park.
Larch cones: words burning among breath and nature.
Reading and reading, learning and learning – Abouth the Way of Patriarches.
Tsuyu-an: Retreat or Refuge of Dew – In silent meditation among secular barks.
Meditating in the forest – Cinemambiente in Valchiusella Festival.
A perfect place – Two bicentenary huge planes in Piedmont.

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A LITTLE PLANT IN THE WIDE AND THICK ZEN FOREST
Hermitage of Dew: cultivating simplicity

The teaching of the Buddha is so simple:
when hungry, eat; when thirsty, drink;
when cold, wrap yourself in a good warm cloak.
Gudo Toshoku (1577-1661)

Fratus is developing a wild, sylvan, woody spiritual buddhist practice that he’s calling – not to be considered seriously – “silvobuddismo” (wood-buddhism) or “ecobuddismo” (eco-buddhism), as experiences already described in recent essays, Journeys on Mind Mountain (G. Bluestone), Winter Moon (B. M. Treace), EcoDharma (D. R. Loy) or Green Buddhism (S. Kaza). Fratus wrote two essays about these practices: Il sole che nessuno vede (The sun who nobody sees) and Interrestràre. Quaderno di meditazioni (Interrestràre. Notebook of meditations). Invited by festivals, Fratus leads meditations and poetry readings, seminars of “boschese” (woody and rooty language), immersions in nature, opportunities to feed italian lay people interested in an intimate connection with the dimension of what we call Nature. He founded a migrating refuge or hermitage called Tsuyu-an (Dew Retreat), not a singular stable place but a series of occasione and situations.

Meditating in Nature – Just a handful of words and seeds

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Fratus sewed a sort of definition :

Wood or Eco buddhism – s. m. [from lat. selva, wood, from greek oikos, home, land, environment] – Practice of meditation in the woods, inspired by buddhist patriarches’ teachings and trainings; it considers exercises of seated meditation (zazen) and walking meditation, reading of classics and writing poems. It is preferably to make experience into the wild distant forests in the mountains, or in woods in the countryside, but it is possible also in arboretum and private or public city gardens.

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ZEN ATQUE NATURA MATRES SUNT

Just a curious alchemy: zen, nature and poetry’s roots mix together to create a language both concrete and imaginative. Everyday Fratus practices zen meditation. Everyday he learns from the teachings of eminent masters, in part of the Caodong / Soto lineage and in part of the Linji / Rinzai School. His main references are masters Eihei Dogen, Daito Kokushi and Yotaku Bankei, not forgetting the foundamental echoes of spiritual examples in Christian world, such as mystical saints, first Francescans, modern and contemporary hermits.

Recent Covid-19 Disease paralyzes human Liberty. Waiting to go back in forests, Fratus identified a personal Buddha in a section of an old Monumental Italian Tree, a Giant Sequoia lived for 125 years (1890-2015) in the city of Merano. A new spiritual life for this piece of wood.

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